Lee Minyoung, Kim Kang-min
In airports, it's normal to run into massive crowds.
One of the small joys of flying would be avoiding those crowds and arriving at your seat only to discover that nobody's sitting next to you.
And now, that is becoming a common experience for travelers.
As COVID-19 spreads all across the world, travel is restricted in countries hardest hit my the virus, including South Korea, which is making the decline in the number of passengers more noticeable in airports.
The number of passengers using the Incheon International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world, fell to the lowest point ever over coronavirus concerns.
According to the Incheon International Airport Corporation, the estimated figure as of Monday is at 21,241 ― 11,335 outbound and 9,906 inbound.
This is below the previous record low of 26,773 in 2003, when the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrom dealt a serious blow to overseas travel.
The figure is one-ninth of 2018's daily average of 187,000, and a tenth of the average passenger traffic during holiday season.
The decline came as flights in and out of China have been drastically reduced ever since the coronavirus outbreak and passengers from Japan have been cut to less than one percent of the 2018 average, due to tougher travel restrictions.